We have written this joint platform as our unified vision for the future of the city of Durham. This week, we’re releasing the second of five concrete policy proposals that will help us achieve our shared vision of community safety. Please take a look and let us know what you think!
We believe that everyone deserves to be safe and secure in our community. Despite recent progress here in Durham, far too many of our neighbors are still at risk of experiencing harm from community violence, racially disparate policing, and destructive federal immigration enforcement policies. To further reduce harm in our community, we must strengthen our work to address the root causes of violence while continuing to focus law enforcement resources on violent crime in our city. We envision a city where residents are able to live in neighborhoods free from the damaging impacts of violence in all its forms.
Here's what we're proposing for the next four years:
Continue to focus police resources on reducing violent crime.
Partner with Durham County to create a crisis first-responders program separate from the police department or Sheriff’s office.
Expand existing pre-arrest diversion program to include misdemeanor offenders regardless of age for nearly all first- and second-time offenders.
Expand access to U-visas for immigrant victims of crime regardless of the date of the qualifying offense.
Ensure that all Durham police officers are trained in crisis intervention techniques.
Keep families safe from acts of domestic violence by expanding our robust and effective partnership with the Sheriff, the District Attorney, Durham Crisis Response Center and Legal Aid of North Carolina to create a comprehensive domestic violence support system.
Invest in violence prevention and “violence interrupter” programs with existing ties to the community to directly engage residents who are most likely to be victims or perpetrators of violence.
Drastically reduce or eliminate traffic stop enforcement actions for driving without a license and vehicle equipment violations such as expired registration or broken taillight.
Increase work, housing, and educational opportunities for justice-involved residents and residents returning to Durham after incarceration.
Continue collaborating with Durham County and our local courts to minimize the negative impact of fines and fees on low-income Durham residents.
Ensure that residents are able to access police services regardless of their immigration status or native language.
Continue existing police policy of not asking about residents’ immigration status in interactions with police officers.
Collect and make available comprehensive data on police interactions with residents including traffic stops, pedestrian stops and use of force, among others.
Partner with members of the Durham community to develop and fund additional strategies to promote harm reduction and community safety separate and apart from law enforcement.
Invest in additional staffing in our Fire Department to allow for the more robust firefighting and emergency response capacity our growing city needs.
Lobby for changes in state law to promote greater police accountability by strengthening the power of local civilian police review boards.
Lobby for changes in state law to allow broader access to police dashcam and body camera footage.
Lobby for changes in state law to reinstate driving privileges for undocumented residents.
Avoid purchasing or accepting donations of military equipment or surveillance technology.
Continue to focus on public safety beyond policing by investing in the economic, educational, and social opportunities that all residents need and deserve to live lives of dignity and worth.